For many years, I’ve been a fan and supporter of the Austin-based outfit Wild Child, but apparently I was only a surface level fan, because it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the side projects connected to the group. I bring this up because my recent discovery of lead singer Kelsey Wilson‘s solo project Sir Woman has been a complete breath of fresh air. Her latest EP, the soulful Bitch, sets aside the airy vibes that Wild Child is known for, instead going for the gut punch of deep feeling and emotion over lush 1970‘s era production, falling in the realms of Barry White and Minnie Ripperton more so that the hippie-esque vibes that Wild Child is known for. Long story short, don’t sleep on this one here… cop it if you can, stream it and share it regardless, and always support your local creatives!
The Austin-based College of Hip-Hop Knowledge (CHHK) is really and truly a blessing to the Austin and central Texas hip-hop scene. Every artist in the collective manages to effortlessly straddle the line between innovate sound and classic knowledge dropping, all while maintaining a vast array of individual styles and characteristics. One of the more vocal and high profile members of the crew is the enigmatic Tall Kyle, the kind of cat who will punch you in the eye for disrespecting his third eye. On his latest single Mona Lisa, Tall Kyle manages to draw a line between the confidence in his style and the innumerable influences spanning space and time that lead to the confident being his is today. 2020 may have been a forgettable year for most, but the CHHK has been making the most out of it, and this latest effort from Tall Kyle stands as further proof. Check it out on your favorite streaming service, and spread it around for others to do the same!
After a successful year and a half that included a debut release, a handful of impressive music videos and loads of stage time, including a festival appearance, Blacklight has found himself hitting the ground running once again. In light of (no pun intended) all of this experience and growth, it makes sense that his follow-up project, Full-Time, would have the sound of a more mature and seasoned artist. The touches of pure energy and emotion are definitely still present, as that rawness is a huge part of what makes Blacklight such a compelling artist, but hearing him approach more seasoned tracks with a more confident and equally seasoned approach is refreshing and inspiring. Much of the subject matter is similar, as Blacklight has always been about positivity, self-sufficiency and making your own way, but now the feelings are backed up with stories and examples of experience. Definitely check out the project on your favorite streaming service or online storefront, support if you can, and spread the word regardless!
Those who know me and follow the blog know that I am a huge fan of the way that Kydd Jones has continued to reinvent himself and redefine his creative niche’. After recently launching a fashion line, Kydd now finds himself in a partnership with publishing giant BMI, a connection that has afforded him even more creative freedom. As a sort of celebration, Kydd hooked up with producer NIP Productions for a pair of singles that offer up nostalgic moments : the power-packed pair of Skate World and No Smoke. Check out the vibes that Kydd is serving up, complete with a few interpolative moments that’ll have you thinking back to simpler times. Check out the tracks, support if you can, and share them around regardless!
While (iN)Sect Records has always been known for boundary-pushing, forward-thinking producers and productions, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of hitting the masses with some boom-bap every once in a while. For those needing that boom-bap fix, NAMELESS has come to your rescue in the form of Chips, a stream of consciousness labor of love full of wonderful vocal samples, progressive pace and timing, and most importantly, head-nodders galore in terms of the beats. This album is easy enough to enjoy on its own, but after taking a quick peek at the backstory behind the culmination of this release, it’s hard not to feel the passion and patience that went into Chips. If you can afford to, cop it. If not, stream it and share it so others can check it out.
Riders Against the Storm (RAS) have carved a name for themselves in regards to two very specific things : forward-thinking music and a true passion for dancing. Their artistic, political and community acumen certainly cannot be denied, but the duo certainly excels in the original two areas mentioned. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their latest single, the incredibly catchy Red Lights, fits both bills. Sonically, the song leans in the direction of afro-futurism (in my opinion), with it’s upbeat synthesizer-based sound. Add to that the energy-based lyrics and the wonderful hook courtesy of Tameca Jones, it’s almost impossible to ignore this as a sure shot dance track. Stream or download the track from your favorite online streaming service, and keep an eye out for more new material, hopefully soon!
Those familiar with the Austin hip-hop scene know to check for any release affiliated with the College of Hip-Hop Knowledge, so when Big Tree 4Real announced his upcoming single and video release for Y’all Got Me Fucked Up, it was more a matter of preparation than wondering. Big Tree‘s super smooth southern drawl and delivery are perfectly paired with Sheff Shmurda‘s mellow banger of a track, and Big Tree‘s self-confident bars on not letting others dictate the quality of your product rings incredibly true. Dig the video, and if you like it, leave a like and a comment, and spread it around for others to do the same.
Austin hip-hop mainstay Ben Buck is a beast with the pen, the production and the beatboxing, and his latest release Speaker Bump Deluxe continues the verification of those facts. Buck would’ve fit right in during hip-hop’s true school era, as his brand of boom-bap and lyrical artillery is reminiscent of the early 1990s, when diversity and uniqueness ruled hip-hop. A handful of these songs would fit in perfect on a skate video or an opening DJ set to a classic-style hip-hop show. Catch Speaker Bump Deluxe wherever you purchase or stream your music, and always support your local creatives.
It’s hard not to find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the litany of issues we face these days… be they medical, political, sociological or personal, the weight of the world is a hard shoulder to burden. That very reason is why people should take the time to reflect on the beauty that exists in the world, as well as the beauty we are capable of creating. Luckily for us, Jsun the Prophesor and collaborator Govinachi are lending the masses a hand and leading by example with the release of the single True Beauty. The track is a reflection on those aforementioned aspects of life, all over a beat that revels in harmonics and dynamics rather than the traditional boombap fare. For anyone in need of a sonic pick-me-up, look no further than True Beauty, and if you’re feeling it, leave a like and a comment before you share it with your friend circle.
My good friend Nick Hanover, the driving force of the popular Austin music and culture blog OVRLD.com, has some of the best taste in music of anyone that I know. For anyone with doubts, his newly created Mixcloud channel serves as proof of this fact. So far, All Night Fever 9/20 has been my favorite episode, with its focus landing squarely on the wide range of punk-influenced music from the Austin area. The playlist is diverse, with classic bands like Big Boys, Scratch Acid, The Dicks and Butthole Surfers sharing time with newer acts like Pleasure Venom, BLXPLTN, Meat Belt, Institute and much more. If you like irreverent, loud music with a message that’ll get you charged up, look no further than this mix.